Epilogue: Nineteen Years Later
Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first of September was crisp and golden as an apple. Three people stood together at King's Cross Station, between platforms nine and ten. Passers-by looked on curiously at the large tawny owl that accompanied the young girl's trunks.
"Come on, Maura. You don't want the train to leave without you, do you?" the mostly gray haired man, who was obviously the girl's father, urged her gently. The woman in the group, who was probably the mother and looked terribly out of place with pink spiky hair, pushed her toward the barrier. The girl took a deep breath and ran through, with her parents close on her heels.
When Remus and Tonks got through to the other side, they saw the Weasleys and the Potters. Their eleven-year-old daughter, Maura, was already standing with her two best friends, Rose Weasley and Albus Potter. They were all chatting nervously, and they looked distinctly uneasy as they peered at the big scarlet locomotive that they would ride for the first time.
Sirius was also standing among the group, with his nice muggle-born wife and fourteen-year-old son. He had never expected to settle down, but he realized that he had always been missing something. He wanted to regain the life of a normal wizard after all the years that Azkaban and the war had taken from him.
The adults greeted each other and watched their children mingle. Remus and Tonks were amused when Ron started to warn his daughter about Scorpius Malfoy. Tonks, at least, was sure that the lure of the forbidden would draw them into a quick friendship.
Tonks spotted another familiar, but despised, face in the crowd. Barry Pruce stood with his passel of five children, ranging in age from seven to fifteen. The years had not been kind to Pruce. Immediately after the war, when Kingsley had taken over and drastically reduced the corruption in the Ministry, and Umbridge and her ilk had been booted out of office, all the Aurors had needed recertification. Of course, Pruce had not passed and had been demoted to a minor clerical position. He had married a no-nonsense witch who kept his womanizing ways in line and purportedly did not tolerate so much as a word of dissent from him. Pruce's looks had declined along with his paycheck, and now no one would give him a second glance. Tonks almost pitied him. Almost.
Suddenly, James Potter appeared, bright red and out of breath. "Uncle Remus! Auntie Tonks! Teddy's back there. Just seen him! And guess what he's doing? Snogging Victoire!" They looked at each other askance. That would explain why he had flushed and claimed that he had to go to work early when Remus had asked where he was going that morning.
Maura shrieked with laughter, and Remus was sure that her brother would face endless teasing from his daughter, who unfortunately did not bear the name "Nymphadora," a point on which Tonks had remained adamant.
"Our Teddy! Your son, Teddy Lupin! And I asked Teddy what he was doing-"
"You interrupted them?" said Ginny. "You are so like Ron." Both Remus and Tonks had to chuckle at that.
"It would be lovely if they got married. I thought they were just friends, but they'd make a good couple," Tonks mused enthusiastically. James looked disappointed at the lack of a shocked response, but he seemed too excited about Hogwarts to be too upset.
At that point, Maura broke away from her friends and asked to speak with her parents alone. They obliged and moved away from the larger group. "Daddy, do I have to call you Professor Lupin at school?"
Remus still couldn't quite believe that he had the opportunity to be called "Professor Lupin" again, even though he had been rehired to the DADA post more than ten years previously. The plight of werewolves had not immediately improved after the war. As Remus had predicted, many called for harsher laws to punish his kind because many of them had supported Voldemort. Therefore, he had stayed home, taking care of Teddy for the first few years of his life, while Tonks had returned to the Auror Squad. However, Remus' status as a war hero and a recipient of the Order of Merlin First Class and the support of werewolf rights by many well-known figures, including the famous Harry Potter and the new Minister of Magic, had eventually brought werewolves acceptance as part of the larger Wizarding society. Pockets of prejudice still remained, of course, but most werewolves were better off than they had ever dreamed of being.
Remus, who was pulled out of his thoughts by Maura's impatient foot tapping, chuckled, but he stopped when he saw the look on his daughter's face, which looked so much like his own. "Only in the classroom. You wouldn't want the other students to think I favor you because you're my daughter, would you?"
"No, I guess not. I suppose the same goes for Uncle Neville, right?"
"I think that would be best." Remus couldn't resist adding, "Although I think that you ought to call him Professor Longbottom instead of Professor Lupin." Maura groaned at his deliberate misunderstanding of the question.
Then, Rose and Al waved at Maura to board the rapidly filling train. She kissed Remus and Tonks and bounded after her friends. They watched her go, both happy that she was about to experience some of the happiest years of her life and sad that she was leaving them.
But as they turned to leave the platform, with their arms across each other's shoulders, they thought that their lives couldn't have turned out much better than they had.
All was actually well.The End
A/N: I have now finished my first multichapter story. Thank you so much to everyone who has read and reviewed for the past four months. I really appreciate it. Some of the dialogue and description is taken directly from the DH Epilogue, or modified slightly.
As my final review bribe, I offer a Remus and a Tonks to say goodbye to you as you board the Hogwarts Express.